Short hauls

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Slow progress

The Aus­tralian Truck­ing In­dus­try is urg­ing cus­tomers to take into con­sid­er­a­tion de­lays caused by the floods in the east­ern states and al­low ex­tra time for de­liv­er­ies to ar­rive. It says blocked roads are not the only fac­tor. Many trucks will be needed to de­liver much­needed sup­plies to those in the af­fected ar­eas. ATA chair­man David Simon says truck­ing will play a vi­tal role in the flood re­cov­ery. ‘‘Trucks are of­ten the only way to get vi­tally needed sup­plies to where they are needed,’’ Simon says.‘‘ As a re­sult, the truck­ing in­dus­try is work­ing hard to en­sure com­mu­ni­ties af­fected by flood­ing can get what they need quickly. This ex­tra work, as well as the ad­di­tional time needed to travel around flood af­fected ar­eas, means there will be some de­lays for the in­dus­try’s cus­tomers.’’

Fiat eyes ex­pan­sion

FIAT boss Ser­gio Mar­chionne has in­di­cated Fiat In­dus­trial could be in­ter­ested in ac­quir­ing the shares that Volk­swa­gen now owns in both MAN and Sca­nia. Fiat In­dus­trial owns Ital­ian truck brand Iveco. Mar­chionne, who is busy try­ing to turn around the strug­gling Chrysler com­pany that is now part of the Fiat group, made the com­ments to Au­to­mo­ at the Detroit Mo­tor Show.The com­ments come as a sur­prise, be­cause Volk­swa­gen has made it clear that it views the ef­fec­tive con­trol­ling stakes in both MAN and Sca­nia as cru­cial to its am­bi­tions to widen its op­er­a­tions that are mostly fo­cused on pas­sen­ger cars and com­mer­cial vans.

Help for driv­ers

TRANS­PORT op­er­a­tor rep­re­sen­ta­tive group Nat Road says help is avail­able for own­er­drivers and small op­er­a­tors who can’t earn an in­come be­cause of the floods in the east­ern states. The Fed­eral Govern­ment has in­tro­duced a spe­cial Dis­as­ter In­come Re­cov­ery Sub­sidy, which is $469.70 a fort­night for a sin­gle per­son, says Nat Road chief ex­ec­u­tive Bernie Belacic. Af­fected op­er­a­tors should ap­ply to Cen­tre­link on 180 22 66. Truck­ing com­pa­nies af­fected by the floods should also talk to their bank or fi­nancier about whether they can put spe­cial ar­range­ments in place for their loan re­pay­ments, he says.

Brew­ing a hy­brid

A MI­CRO brew­ery in Tas­ma­nia is try­ing to make its car­bon foot­print as small as pos­si­ble by buy­ing a hy­brid Hino for its de­liv­er­ies. Moo Brew has bought a man­ual Hino Hy­brid 714 and painted it all black to en­sure it stands out on the road. Com­pany mar­ket­ing man­ager Jon Bur­ridge says the hy­brid truck suits the com­pany. ‘‘We be­lieve the fu­ture of the earth is im­por­tant and hy­brid technology is grow­ing, so we’d like to be a part of that and en­cour­age oth­ers to do like­wise,’’ he says.

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